By Barbara Kessler
President Bush proposed today that the world’s top polluting nations should gather for a series of meetings on the fall to set global targets for greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2007.
The president’s proposal comes as other G-8 nation leaders plan to discuss global warming limits at their meeting next week in Germany. A German proposal asks the G-8 leaders to rollback emissions limits to half of 1990 levels by 2050, which scientists say is needed to effectively slow global warming.
The Bush administration has been quibbling with the wording and specific mandates in that document, leaving Bush at odds with the other G-8 leaders, especially Germany’s chancellor and Great Britain’s prime minister, who have endorsed the plan.
Given Bush’s track record on global warming, environmental critics saw today’s announcement as the administration’s attempt to detract from the G-8 discussion. Their gripe: That Bush wants to appear to be doing something on global warming, but isn’t so much warm, as fuzzy, on the issue.
He hasn’t supported strict rollbacks on emissions, but favors an laissez faire approach that would allow nations to devise their own curbs, critics said.
A Bush official, however, said the president’s plan could speed action by bringing the key polluting nations together and not waiting for United Nation’s timetables.
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